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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Dover-Sherborn Regional High School varsity boys basketball team hosted Westwood on Friday night for the one and only meeting between the two rivals this 2019-2020 season.
Behind a 22-point first-half performance by junior captain and guard James McGowan (27 total), the Wolverines (8-2, 6-2) were able to gut out a hard-fought 61-56 victory against the Raiders (2-8, 1-7). Senior forward Jacob Brown led DS with 20 points.
DS began the game on a 9-2 run behind a pair of three-pointers by senior captain and guard Kirby Ryan (nine points). Back-to-back layups by McGowan cut the deficit to 9-6 for Westwood and forced DS to take a timeout. McGowan tied the game at nine with a three-pointer following the timeout. The Raiders would finish the half on a quick 5-0 run, with junior guard Nick Rinaldi (eight points) putting home a layup at the buzzer. DS took a 14-9 lead into the second quarter.
A three-pointer by McGowan midway through the quarter gave Westwood a 22-20 lead. Junior guard Timothy Dillon responded with a three-pointer of his own to give the Raiders back the lead at 23-22. Following a free-throw by Dillon, Ryan and McGowan exchanged three-pointers to make it a 26-26 game. Dillon shot home another free throw to make it 27-26, but Westwood finished the half on 7-0 run, five of the points coming from McGowan on a pair of free throws and a three-pointer. The Wolverines took a 33-27 lead into halftime.
DS began the second half on a 10-2 run, with eight of the points coming from Brown via a pair of free throws, a layup, and two two-point jumpers as the Raiders reclaimed the lead at 37-35. McGowan responded with a pair of free throws to tie the game at 37. A 9-4 run by DS followed, as junior guard Ben Teich put home a two-point floater, followed by back-to-back layups from Rinaldi. Following the run, DS took a 46-41 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to Westwood forward/guard Pat Reilly, as the senior captain scored nine of his 11 points during the frame. A layup by Mark James (nine points), followed by a three-pointer from McGowan and a two-pointer by Reilly, tied the game at 48 for Westwood. Following a free throw by junior guard and captain Evan Skeary, Westwood took back the lead at 50-49 after a layup by James. A pair of free throws by senior Jimmy Bean and layups from McGowan and Reilly gave the Wolverines a 54-49 lead. Skeary cut the deficit back to three at 54-51 with a pair of free throws. A three-pointer by Brown tied the game at 54 with just over two minutes to play. A layup by senior Favor Wariboko gave Westwood back the lead at 56-54. Reilly swished home a three-pointer to make it a five-point lead at 59-54 before banking in a two-point jumper to make it 61-54 with under 10 seconds to play. DS would add a layup just before the buzzer as Westwood prevailed by the 61-56 final.
Westwood will look to continue its winning ways against Medfield on January 24, while DS will try to get back on track against Millis the same night.
For funny and insightful sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.